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ITHAKA ON THE HORIZON: A Greek-American Journey



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    Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Saco, Maine, USA 10-12 July 2009

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10 March 2008



I listened to the liturgy yesterday evening after a hard day at work and I felt so relaxed. In Edinburgh our orthodox church was multi national, as a result we had one Sunday, mainly Greek, one mainly Slavonic and one mainly English, the forth was a mixture. I used to avoid Slavonic Sundays because I didn’t quite like the way the hymns went. Your post changed my mind, I loved it, so did my husband who turns out to be Rachmaninov's fan (something I didn’t know!)



I was only able to download a portion of it. It is approximately two hours long. I recently had the pleasure of hearing the entire thing performed by the Bowdoin College Chorus at our church, St. Demetrios. It was an evening I will not soon forget and I wanted to share its beauty with all my friends. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed it. I think that we lose a great deal in our headlong rush to eliminate these languages in our Orthodox churches in English speaking cultures.


Slowly catching up. Beautiful music. I would love to hear it performed. Where is the recording from that you've posted?


I downloaded the mp3 file for the album at Amazon:

There is more than one recording available, obviously it has been performed by different groups.

Simon Baddeley

Thanks Stavros. I've ordered a CD. I was brought up on the prayer that contains the lines "if two or three are gathered together in thy name, thou wilt grant their request". it has been my guide, not for requesting gifts from God, but for joining in the companionship of a common endeavour.


Communal prayer is just as important as individual prayer. We need the support of others.


Thank you so much for sharing this music of my favorite composer Rachmaninov. His music never fails to move me to tears. What a wonderful surprise to learn that he wrote music for the church I hold so dear. Look forward to visiting your blog again soon.


My blog takes a different look at growing up in a Greek family, perhaps you will visit!



Welcome to MGO. I'm glad you like the music. I have linked to your blog.


S, I bought a recording of this and have very much been enjoying listening to it. The version I bought (King College Choir, Cambridge) is quite different to yours (not better or worse, just different, sounds more churchy and a smaller choir I would imagine, with probably with fewer women ...). No substitution for hearing it live, but a few candles smelling of incense helped. We've just said goodbye to another god child (and her three sisters and mother and father). Canadian Lutherans living in Hong Kong all of them. Everyone enjoyed the music, even the children, and the father, intrigued by Eastern Orthodoxy, made a point of asking me to send him a link to Kallistos Ware's book ...



I suspect that a choral piece of this type is subject to some interpretation on the part of those performing it. That may account for the difference.

My sister's husband is a lifelong Lutheran. Although his children have been raised in the Orthodox Church and he often attends services with us, he is still very active in his Church, including daily bible study. Last weekend I accompanied him to Palm Sunday services at his Church. We are not so far apart.

Here is a great site I came across that your friend may find helpful:

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  • Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you're destined for. But don't hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you're old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you've gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you wouldn't have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. C. P. Cavafy


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